Kendall Graveman has had quite the roller coaster of a season.
Graveman, sent to the A's in the winter's Josh Donaldson blockbuster, had been coming off of a breakout season in the Blue Jays' organization. He looked primed to continue this breakout after a dominant Spring Training with his new club. However, he received a harsh wake-up call as big league bats smacked him to the tune of an 8.27 ERA with more walks than strikeouts over his first four career big-league starts. This earned him a demotion to Triple-A Nashville.
Upon arrival in the Music City, Graveman returned to his dominant self, posting a 1.85 ERA over four starts and earning a return to the big leagues. Since, he has looked strong once more, with a 2.27 ERA over six starts. However, a 92.5% strand rate over those six starts indicates there might be some luck involved, as does his 3.99 FIP (3.56 xFIP) over that span. No worries, though - the 24 year-old still has plenty of room to grow and improve.
Opposing Graveman is the crafty veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez. W-Rod is experiencing a career resurgence in Texas, after two consecutive seasons marred by injury. His 3.20 ERA (3.77 FIP) over eleven starts is surely a pleasant surprise for the Rangers, who signed Wandy to a minor league deal late during the spring.
This afternoon, the red-hot Athletics will look to take down the second-place Rangers on their quest to .500. They hope to continue to look more like buyers than sellers in a relatively weak American League. First pitch is at 5:05 PM PST. Let's go A's!
|OAKLAND A'S||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Billy Burns - CF||Rougned Odor - 2B|
|Mark Canha - LF||Ryan Rua - RF|
|Stephen Vogt - 1B||Prince Fielder - DH|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Josh Phegley - C||Mitch Moreland - 1B|
|Billy Butler - DH||Joey Gallo - LF|
|Brett Lawrie - 3B||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Leonys Martin - CF|
|Sam Fuld - RF||Carlos Corporan - C|
|Kendall Graveman - RHP||Wandy Rodriguez - LHP|